Date Archives November 2016

Coconut-nut Granola with Cacao Nibs



fter my last bounty of coconut goodies from ‘Coconut Collaborative’ I didn’t think I could get any better. Until….a box of samples arrived from the lovely Kiwi people on the other side of the globe at ‘Lovingearth‘. Theres nothing quite like the excitement of a DHL parcel sitting patiently outside your door when you get home especially when you know it contains delicious offerings. A mix of wonderful raw chocolate, raw ingredients and most importantly coconut based products, Lovingearth has an exceptionally focussed and wholesome philosophy. So apologies to the regular readers of ‘forage in the pantry.’ who know my love of coconut but it is indeed one of my favourites. So when I saw the coconut sugar, oil and a bounty of nuts I thought some cheeky granola was in order. Coconut-nut granola with some bitter cacao nibs to fuel the coldest or wettest of November London mornings.

I’ve used a range of Loving Earth’s ingredients here but sub in and out what you want and what takes your fancy.

Makes 1 batch




A little side note on some of these raw and new (for some) ingredients. I’ll admit, I didn’t have the faintest idea where coconut sugar actually came from until I headed over to the Loving Earth website. So I also recommend taking a look at their page on product info if you’re curious.

Coconut Sugar – made from the coconut palm blossoms believe it or not. From the sap of the cut flower buds! Nutritionally it has a naturally low Glycemic Index which means it releases energy slower in the body unlike honey etc. Its been used as a natural sweetener historically and has a rich toffee-like flavour which makes an amazing 1:1 swap in baking for another level of flavour. Try flapjack, coconut loaf or brownies as an example!

Coconut Oil – the pressed oil from the coconut meat itself!

Cacao Nibs – even better for you than dark chocolate and packed FULL of antioxidants. Cacao nibs are derived from cacao beans that have been roasted, separated from their husks, and broken into smaller pieces.

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C and line a large baking tray with a sheet of parchment.
  2. Mix the oats, nuts, coconut, sugar, almonds, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl.
  3. Melt the coconut oil and honey in a large pan until melted fully and combined. Remove from the heat and add the vanilla.
  4. Pour the warm syrup over the oats and stir thoroughly to combine ensuring all the dry mixture is coated.
  5. Spread out evenly on the baking tray. use the biggest tray you can. You don’t want the granola to be in a thick layer – use two trays if needed.
    bake for 20 minutes, giving it a good mix half way through.
  6. Once baked, leave to cool, untouched. Once cool it will crisp up and you can stir through your dry additional ingredients – cacao nibs and raisins here.
  7. Store in an airtight container and use to scatter over your yoghurt or fruit.


Cheesy Breaded Hake


his recipe is a perfect Monday night dinner to start the week on a healthy note and get some flavour after perhaps (I mean I’m just suggesting….) a boozy weekend…ahem..? The fresh delicate flavour of the fish, the slight decadence of the greasy fried cheesy breadcrumbs with a good squeeze of lemon and the sharp tang of a few gooey capers satisfied all my cravings in one. With a fresh crunchy salad with yet more lemon it cheered a soggy Monday after what was the worst day of rain we’ve had in long time. So after laying out my running shoes and the entire contents of my running rucksack to dry I cracked on with priority two….dinner.

I’ve left the measurements vague. Its really dependant on how many you’re cooking for and how cheesy you like it. And I’ll admit, after a soaking run home I wasn’t really in the mood to measure for the sake of this blog post as that really does take away the ease and love of this recipe for  Monday night. No rules, no orders, just guidelines…..Experiment!

  • White fish fillets – use a meaty fish here. I used hake but cod, haddock, tilapia, whiting, monkfish etc all work too (skinned)
  • Breadcrumbs
  • Grated parmesan cheese
  • Parsley, chopped roughly (reserve a handful for garnish)
  • Lemon, zest and juice (1 between 2)
  • Egg, beaten (Around 1 per fillet)
  • Plain flour
  • 1 heaped 2tsp capers per person
  • Sunflower oil, 1 large knob butter
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C..
  2. Place the flour in a small bowl and the beaten egg in another.
  3. The measurements for the coating are loose….use as many breadcrumbs as you require for the number of fish fillets. Use about a quarter of the weigh in breadcrumbs for the cheese and as much parsley as you dare. One very large handful of breadcrumbs usually accommodates 1 fillet but it depends on size and if you’re double dipping (see step 4)! Combine the breadcrumbs, cheese, parsley, and a pinch of salt and pepper in a large bowl.
  4. Taking your fish fillets, dip first in the flour and dust off the excess then dip in the egg. Then plunge the fillets straight into the breadcrumbs and coat well. Repeat with a second layer of egg and breadcrumbs if you like a thick coating. It will be a messy job, press the coating into the fish as best you can.
  5. Place the fillets on a plate and chill for 10 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, preheat a large deep saucepan with a good layer of sunflower oil and a knob of butter.
  7. When hot but not smoking, add your chilled fish fillets and fry for 3-4 minutes on each side until golden and crispy. Flip and repeat until you have a toasted solid golden crust. Either continue to cook throughout in the pan or finish in the oven until cooked to your liking (depends on the fish size but around 7-8 minutes).
  8. Whilst finishing cooking or whilst the fish rests, chop the capers roughly with the remaining parsley. Add the zest of the lemon and combine. Garnish over the crispy fillets with half a wedge of lemon on the side to squeeze over.

Serve with fresh vegetable, salad or some big sweet potato wedges. A tartare sauce wouldn’t go amide here either…or a lemony yoghurt. Being in the wine trade, I’m also dying to advise a wine that would go perfectly here but seeing as its Monday and a healthy start I won’t. But if you were to open a bottle of something sharp and zesty like a Chenin Blanc then you wouldn’t be going far off…ahem….cheers.


Blackberry and Ginger Pudding



his is one of the tastiest but easiest little puddings to knock up and its packed full of flavour and perfect for a winter evening with a steaming bowl of velvety sweet custard. Ambrosia obviously. But if you’re feeling the urge to make a your own creme angliase then my cinnamon version found here is great. Its not a steamed pudding as such but it may as well be with its warm spongy texture and comfort. I’ll admit the ginger is excessive but don’t be shy, you’ll appreciate the bounty if you go all in here – its a ginger pudding after all. A little lemon zest lifts it into a lighter pudding and the blackberries are just so god damn seasonal. And a nod to the ‘forage’.

This recipe if straight from Sky Gyngell’s ‘A Year in my Kitchen’ and I made no changes. Its perfect.

Serves 4

  • 100g unsalted butter
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 100g self raising flour
  • Zest 2 lemons
  • 4 knobs of stem ginger, finely chopped
  • 4 tbsp golden syrup
  • Blackberries
  • Pinch salt
  1. Grease 4 mini pudding moulds or ramekins. I also lined the base with a little parchment to stop it sticking. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy and smooth.
  3. Beat in the eggs one by one until combined
  4. Next sift in the flour and fold in.
  5. Fold in the lemon zest and ginger.
  6. Spoon a generous tbsp of golden syrup into the base of each pudding bowl. Top with enough blackberries to cover the base in a single layer. Spoon over the sponge mixture divided between each mould.
  7. Grease 4 small sheets of foil and cover the moulds loosely with it. Place on a baking sheet and bake for about 30 minutes until a knife inserted comes out clean.
  8. Turn out onto a plate and serve warm with a steaming helping of custard.